Despite reports that people with osteoporosis have an increased risk of dying prematurely, a new study has found that life expectancy of newly diagnosed and treated osteoporosis patients is in excess of 15 years in women below the age of 75 and in men below the age of 60.
In more detailed analyses, the residual life expectancy after beginning osteoporosis treatment was estimated to be 18.2 years in a 50-year-old man and 7.5 years in a 75-year old man. Estimates in women were 26.4 years and 13.5 years. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study included 58,637 patients with osteoporosis and 225,084 age- and gender-matched controls. Information on deaths until the end of 2013 was retrieved, providing a follow-up period of 10 to 17 years.
"How best to treat patients with osteoporosis is a really simple issue when it comes to beginning treatment, but deciding how long to treat for is really very challenging," said lead author Dr. Bo Abrahamsen. "The present study shows that most of the patients we treat have a long life expectancy. Therefore it is absolutely vital that we are not complacent but develop evidence-based strategies for the long-term management of osteoporosis."